It's hard to imagine the American West without tumbleweeds, but it's a relatively new thing in the landscape. Think back to every western you've ever seen. There's at least one tumbleweed in every single movie. It's an iconic plant of the West, but there's a catch... It's technically an iconic plant of Russia, and in America, it's more of a Great Plains icon. The video above explains the whole story to this point in time.

I'm not sure what your particular experience is with life out in the country, but tumbleweeds are just a thing people in rural areas live with. Oddly enough, most years in SWOK are relatively easy in terms of the tumbles. You see them, but it's rare to see monster walls of them. That's not to say some years don't produce record amounts of them. I've seen them stacked so high on a barn, they were blowing over the top just ninety miles West of Lawton. The picture is on an old iPhone that degassed in my dresser, but I once drove up on a tumbleweed that was about eight feet wide and four feet tall. It was massive. Most of them stay around that beach ball size, but it all depends on the weather. Obviously, wet years have the potential to produce bigger and greater numbers of tumbles, but those are the years when record crops happen for farmers, so there's a bittersweet trade-off.

This is the time of year you'll see them too. Just get out of Lawton and go explore a little to the West. By the time you cross the North Fork, they should be wildly roaming the great open expanses as viewed out the car window. If you make it all the way to Altus, stop by The Plaza. It's the best Mexican food this side of I-35. If you have the stones to keep heading West, don't skip the burger at the Boomerang in Hollis. Not affiliated with the chain of Boomerang restaurants, but a sixty year old restaurant in small town Oklahoma that has amazing burgers. The Texas Toothpicks aren't bad either... Literally fries made out of jalapenos.

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